When things are going wrong, we go to our source of strength – I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? [Psalm 121:1] Everyone has their mountains from which they expect help. For some it is money, for others, alliances with powerful people, for others it is in their personality. My help … More What do I trust in?
What would you do with all power and understanding? Great is our Lord and mighty in power; … Psalm 147:5 The extent of God’s power is seen through the creation of all things. We see the breadth of it in the galaxies, we see the depth in the sub-atomic particles. He determines the number of … More Power and Understanding
Our western culture could be like this… Listen to this, you pleasure-loving kingdom, living at ease and feeling secure. You say, ‘I am the only one, and there is no other. [Isaiah 47:8NLT] Where self-focused complacency develops, a culture becomes conceited and wants everyone to emulate it. “Come down, virgin daughter of Babylon, and sit … More The end of pleasure?
When the wicked win the temptation is to use their methods. In succumbing we become wicked. What should we do? Do not fret because of those who are evil …; for like … green plants they will soon die away. [Psalm 37:1-2] When the wicked win, anxiety drives towards wickedness. We need Jesus’ perspective. The … More Resisting wickedness
I have a bad habit when in difficulty of giving myself permission to behave badly. Paul underwent far greater difficulties. His account of ship wrecks, beatings, facing wild animals and the like make anything I face seem trivial. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but … More Embrace Trials
I have been taught that God’s refuge is where I live if I am making godly decisions. Psalm 91 takes another approach. If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’ and make the most-high your dwelling, If I say, ‘The Lord is my refuge’, I am choosing not to make anything else my refuge. There … More Refuge in the tumult
Learning to rely on God involves him taking us to the end of our selves. Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; [Psalm 86:11] When what we see ahead is beyond our resources can our faith, love and hope stretch to meet his faithfulness? Faith, because I will need to … More RISK Rely In Spite of Knowledge
Jesus referred to himself as the true vine, yet the passages he refers to have an uncomfortable outcome. You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it…it took root and filled the land. [Psalm 80:8-11] Things start well: Just as the vine is planted and fills the land so the … More True Vine violated
The shock of my Christian life was realising that this description of the wicked fit me… In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. [Psalm 10:2] Arrogance comes from believing ourselves to be so ‘right’ we can tell others how to live. We give ourselves … More Realising my wickedness
A single phrase changed my view of a whole passage. I had understood Psalm 78 as a history lesson of failure. Take- The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they … refused to live by his law. They forgot … the wonders he had shown them. (Psalm … More What do we tell the next generation?